Root Canals

What is a root canal?

Root canal or endodontic treatment allows for the preservation of a tooth in which injury or infection has occurred to the pulp. The pulp is at the center of your tooth, and it is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, or pain in the tooth and the gums.

Treatment of such teeth begins with a clinical and a radiographic examination. Once a diagnosis of pulpal involvement is made, the procedure involves removing the diseased tissue from the root as well as cleaning and sealing the canals. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. You will be able to drive home after your treatment and likely will be comfortable returning to your normal routine. Your tooth will be sensitive to chewing pressures for at least a few days. Anti-inflammatories such as Advil or Motrin will alleviate much of the tenderness following treatment.

Success in root canal therapy occurs in about 90% of the cases treated. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.

We provide pretreatment antibiotics and analgesia as indicated. Nitrous oxide and oral sedatives may also be used as needed. We use the latest advances in technology to optimize success and comfort for our patients. Digital radiography is used to dramatically reduce exposure and to enhance image quality; nickel-titanium instruments are used to enhance the efficiency and cleanliness of root canal systems. Under certain circumstances, microsurgery may be indicated. We utilize ultrasonics, microscopes, and endoscopes to provide magnification and fiberoptic illumination to assist us in achieving optimal success in treating your tooth.What happens after treatment?

When your root canal has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.


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